On Saturday I went on a field trip at Machimoudus Park in East Haddam. It was led by Larry Cyrulik, of The Mattabeseck Audubon Society. I arrived at the park early. It was about 30 degrees , cloudy, and very windy. As I scanned the property nearest The Sunrise Resort, I saw an AMERICAN KESTREL perched at the top of one of the trees. I also spotted an adult BALD EAGLE fly over , just as Larry arrived.
We decided to explore the less traveled borders of the property. As we hiked through the area he pointed out the boundaries of the park. There were hidden stone walls, streams, and stands of Hemlocks along the way. I could almost imagine that I was traveling back in time to the colonial days as we entered the isolated heart of the woods.
There wasn't a bird heard for the early part of the trip. Eventually, we came upon GOLDEN CROWNED KINGLETS, WHITE -BREASTED NUTHATCHES,TUFTED TITMICE, AND BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES. As we reached the bottom of a hill, we came upon 2 WOOD THRUSHES. One of them perched up on a branch at eye level. We had an excellent view. As we passed by a section of a river which runs in to the Salmon (forgot the name), a BELTED KINGFISHER flew upstream letting out it's ratchety call.
We eventually came to the top overlook. Viewing conditions were poor but we did spot a couple of immature BALD EAGLES. There were loads of MUTE SWANS in the Cove as well as many other birds which were too distant for us to identify without a scope. We walked down to the Salmon River, and saw a deer along the way. A COMMON MERGANSER was seen diving for it's breakfast .
Larry pointed out all sorts of plants and rock formations during the hike. He also expressed his views about people who destroy natural resources. He keeps a close eye on protected land in the region.
The entire walk took about three hours. I definitely worked off a few calories by the end of the trip. Not a bad way to spend a winter morning. Afterwards, I tried to locate the SANDHILL CRANE reported in East Haddam but had no luck.
SUNDAY 1/21/07-Took a ride along the shore and stopped at Hammonasset along the way. I added a RED-BREASTED MERGANSER to my January list while there. I saw some COMMON GOLDENEYE off of Meig's point. The LAZULI BUNTING is still near the East Beach parking lot. Someone mentioned that a PEREGRINE FALCON was seen perching up on a broken OSPREY platform. I didn't spend much time there as I had to prepare for what turned out to be a disappointing loss by the New England Patriots to The Colts.